Nowadays I feel like everyone has an activity tracker hanging out on their wrist. It is a well-known fact that movement is super important, and not only to those of us trying to lose weight. It is recommended that everyone get 10,000 steps in every single day. While for some this might seem like nothing, to others this could very well be a lofty, seemingly unattainable goal. In a world of Fitbits and other activity trackers being the norm, I wanted to offer up 10 ways you can get a little bit closer to hitting that 10k step goal. Now, any one of these tips is not going to get you all the way there on its own, but if you combine a few of these suggestions, I’m willing to bet you’ll be at that magical 10k before you know it. Ready to get moving? Here we go!
We all know that weight loss is essentially one giant mathematical equation: if calories in are less than calories out, you will lose weight. Plain and simple. We also all know there are healthy foods, less healthy foods, and that exercise will help you boost your calorie burn. What I find more interesting are the unexpected things that help me along my weight loss journey. While I’m sure there are more, I put together a list of my top 5 unexpected things that help you lose weight.
#1 Getting a Dog
You all know by now that I rang in the new year by bringing home our little Yorkie, Gracie on the first day of 2017. Since she’s a tiny pup that we’re pad training, we haven’t had a need to take her out for a walk in the freezing weather. Now that it’s warming up, we’re going on daily walks to train her how to behave on a leash and help her get some extra energy out. While this is great for her, it also helps me get extra steps in that I wouldn’t have otherwise. On today’s walk, I gained 3000 steps, which is 1/4 of my daily step goal, and those steps are in addition to what I normally do daily. If you add up all of those walks that are for the dog’s benefit, that could most definitely add up to a few fewer pounds on the scale.
#2 Cleaning Your House
For me, one of the most difficult parts of this entire weight loss journey is knowing how to make the right choices when a craving strikes. Whether it be for the jar of peanut butter, a delicious piece of pizza, or the Hersey’s kisses in the candy jar, I get cravings regularly, and they’re often the reason my day doesn’t go as planned. Let’s face it, if we didn’t have to fight off cravings, odds are we wouldn’t be in the situation where we need to lose weight anyway, right? What’s a gal to do?
What we need are ways to conquer our cravings so we can take back control and eat the things we want when we decide to rather than allow a craving to decide for us. Here are 6 tips to help you (and me) beat those cravings next time we’re wanting something that doesn’t fit into our day.
Well hello there. Welcome to a brand new section of my blog that I’ve decided to call “The Diva Diaries.” I was inspired by the book I’m currently reading, The Adventures of Dietgirl, to start a journaling section of the site that I can basically treat like a much less formal (I know my blog isn’t “formal” anyway,) place where I basically write as if I was writing in my notebook journal. The book is the story of one woman’s weight loss journey all written in journal entry format, and the more I read, the more I was feeling compelled to do something similar.
I’m not sure what you can expect from my Diva Diaries posts because it’s a journal, so it’s going to be whatever is on my mind. My goal is to center it around my ongoing weight loss journey, but you never know where my mind might go. What I can promise is plenty of struggles, discoveries, victories, failures, and everything else that goes into this crazy little thing called life
On Tuesday’s vlog, I decided to ask if you would like to see some more journal type entries from me, like what I was reading in the book, and there were enough people who said yes that I decided it was a go! So last night I created an image, and the Diva Diaries was born.
I weigh in tomorrow, so things will officially start then!
I know I’m a little behind, it being almost the end of January and all, but better late than never, right? As I’ve mentioned in vlogs over on my YouTube channel, 2016 was a year of me failing to reach my goals. I just wasn’t motivated, and was easily distracted and discouraged so not much got done. This year, I have some goals (some old, some new) that I’m hoping to achieve. Along with the new goals comes a fresh new dose of motivation. I’m hoping to buckle down and really make 2017 the best year yet.
My number one goal is to get back down to my goal weight. The only thing is..I don’t know what my new goal weight is yet. Last time I hit goal, I weighed 135lbs, but it turns out that was a little too thin for my body, and certain parts of me looked too bony. That being said, I clearly overcompensated with fixing that problem. This time around, I plan on starting the journey back down (because no change really happened in 2016), but I’ll lose at least 15 lbs and then I’ll play it by ear.
I want to focus more on being healthy and fit rather than just losing weight, so who knows what my body will look like, but I do know I want to fit back into my goal jeans (aka my pair of clearance jeans from American Eagle I had as my goal jeans last time). I love those jeans. We’ll just have to see what the final number ends up being, but I’m hoping to reach it in 2017.
Your repairman has his truck full of tools, a teacher has supplies, and even Batman has his utility belt. Everyone has some sort of toolkit so they can do their job to the best of their ability. Losing weight is no different. In order to successfully lose weight, it really helps to have a toolkit (or a utility belt, if you want to go the superhero route) to help you get the most out of your weight loss efforts. While everyone’s toolkit will look a little bit different based on personal preferences, I thought I’d share my tools with you to give you a basic guideline to help you create a toolkit of your very own. Some of my tools are actual physical items while others are more mental or non-tangible, but I find both categories to be equally important as I go along my journey to the healthiest me I can be.
I am never without a water bottle, and if for some reason I am, I promise I’m not happy about it. At any given time I have 2 “active” water bottles; one with a straw for while I’m at home, as I find I drink more water when it’s through a straw and one that is more secure for when I’m on the go. Hydration is so important, both for health and for weight loss, so I always have a water bottle nearby to encourage me to get my daily requirement of H2O.
A Food Scale
No matter which plan you use to lose weight, odds are it involves portioning your food in some way. I find this easiest when I’m using an electronic food scale. When meal time comes around, I just put the plate on the scale and can measure each meal component separately (hit the “zero” button to start fresh) and easily so I know exactly how many Smart Points (or calories) I put on my plate. I find there is a lot less room for error measuring the weight og your food rather than cups or tablespoons.
Whether you join Weight Watchers, Beach Body, you use My Fitness Pal, or you decide to just count calories on your own, you need to have some sort of plan when it comes to losing weight. You can’t just say “I’m going to lose weight” and have it magically happen (I wish!). You know there are going to be lifestyle changes and maybe even a sacrifice or two in order to see changes in your body, and to achieve that successfully, odds are you have some desired method to get there. That’s also known as a plan. Get one.
Sleep is another one of those life essentials, but it’s something that many of us take for granted or forget to place importance on. Have you ever noticed what happens to your food intake on a day that you don’t get enough sleep? It’s very likely that your day is played out in one of two scenarios. 1: You stick to your diet plan all day (good for you!), but you spend the day drowsy, grumpy, and likely overcaffeinated but still unable to perform to the best of your ability. Scenario 2: You are likely making poor food choices because you’re using food to not only satiate hunger but to gain extra energy to make up for the lack of sleep. Guess what type of foods we usually reach for.. sugary and fatty quick jolts of energy that last until the next time we can put something in our mouths to refuel. This is not helping your diet at all. Getting a quality night’s sleep as often as possible will help you stay away from impulse eating due to hunger. Get those Zzzzs to lose the lbs.
A Food Journal
I’ve said it once, and I’ll say it again. Studies have shown that people who write down what they eat will consume 30% fewer calories than people who don’t. Whether you use an app like Weight Watchers or My Fitness Pal or you decide to use the tried and true notebook and pen, use something to keep track of your food intake. This helps me to see what I’ve eaten, or more importantly, what I can still eat and remain on track.
A Goal (or several small goals)
Goals help keep me motivated. I typically set large goals (to get back to my goal weight) supported and broken up by smaller goals (to drink 100oz of water daily or to reach 12,500 steps) to help me stay on track. When we reach a goal we get to enjoy the positive feeling of accomplishing something, so smaller goals are great for giving us little things to accomplish while we work toward the bigger goal.
What is your “why?” In other words, why do you want to lose weight? Is it so you can run around and play with your children, so you look better and feel more confident naked? Maybe you just want to fit back into your favorite pair of jeans. Having a “why” is not the same as having a goal. Your “why” is the motivation behind your goals. It’s the big picture and the reason you got inspired to set your goal to lose weight in the first place. Once you’ve established your “why” take the time to embrace it. Leave yourself little motivational reminders that constantly inspire you to make the better food choice or to go for an extra walk. The “why” is the root of everything. If you haven’t figured out what it is yet, take the time to do that now.
A stash of go-to snacks
Once you’ve figured out your plan of action, it’s incredibly important to find your favorite foods in that plan. I have a stash of go to Weight Watchers friendly foods and snacks that are easily available should hunger strike in between meals. Having diet friendly snack options around is an easy way to save you from yourself at a time when willpower won’t necessarily be at its strongest.
An Activity Tracker
I love my Fitbit. It turns every single day into a goal and a game. Every day I compete with myself to make it to my daily step goal, but if I want to take the game to the next level, FitBit allows me to compete with friends. There have definitely been days where I’ve been pushed harder simply because I was in a race to get more steps than a friend of mine. All competitive games aside, an activity tracker is a great way for you to get more accurate insight on how much activity you’re actually getting on a daily basis. I’m willing to bet a pretty high percentage of people greatly overestimate how much activity they’re getting on a daily basis. Whether FitBit is your tracker of choice or you prefer another brand, I highly suggest investing in an activity tracker to help you take your weight loss efforts to the next level.
A selection of easy to make recipes
Just like being prepared for a snack attack is important, it’s also important to have a few easy, diet-friendly recipes that you enjoy enough to make regularly. When you have simple recipes to pick from it’s less of a hassle to make dinner at the end of a long day when your desire might be to run to the nearest fast food restaurant to grab dinner because the thought of making it is exhausting. In my house, we often eat basic chicken with quinoa and veggies on the weekend and I will often spend a few hours in the kitchen chopping all sorts of veggies and meat to meal prep for the entire week. Then, when dinner time for one comes around, all I have to do is turn on the oven and pull out one of my pre-made meals out of the fridge. Easy and healthy.
I am a very reward driven person. If I’m told I can earn something awesome for finishing a task, I’m much more likely to do it. I love applying this principle to losing weight. If I’ve had a good week where I stay on track and hit the gym regularly, I might treat myself to an at-home spa night. If I’ve lost 5 lbs, it’s probably time for a pedicure. 10 lbs = a new pair of cute pants. See what I’m getting at? It’s a little bit easier for me to think twice about the late night snack attack or skipping the gym when I know that new lipstick I’ve been dying to try is on the line. While the rewards themselves can look different for everyone, a rewards system is a nice way to treat yourself for a job well done.
Those are some of my favorite items in my weight loss tool kit. Becuase everyone’s journey is unique, everyone will have a slightly different tool kit. What is important is you find the set of tools that work best for you. A good tool kit is like an awesome sidekick. You might succeed without it, but it will be a heck of a lot easier to get the job done with the extra help.
What kind of items are in your weight loss tool kit?
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When it comes to weight loss and healthy living, everyone has their own tips and tricks that work for them. I decided to get a little creative and wanted to come up with something for every letter of the alphabet. After some thought and creative liberties, here are 26 tips, tricks, or plain old facts of life that I use to find success in my weight loss journey.
When it comes to losing weight, attitude is everything. If you come from a negative space about food, fitness, and your body, it’s could be 20 times harder to find the success you’re looking for. A positive attitude about your body and about the journey you’re on will definitely keep your sprits up and the scale down.
B- Baby Steps Read more
If you’ve started following the new Weight Watchers Beyond the Scale program that uses Smart Points instead of points plus, you’ve probably noticed that it’s a lot harder to enjoy some snacks and sweet treats while staying on plan. When Weight Watchers was using Points Plus, I had my snacking down to a science, especially when it came to on-the-go products. It’s taken me a little bit of time, but I finally found a few go to treats that satisfy my sweet tooth without breaking my Smart Points budget for the day. Since I’m sure I’m not the only one who struggled with this low sugar transition, I’ve decided to share a few of my favorites with you. Many of these options work well with the high-protein, low sugar lifestyle that the beyond the scale plan is encouraging us to live on a daily basis. Read more
One of my favorite things about eating on Weight Watchers is that when I eat fresh fruits and veggies, they don’t count against my daily Smart Points intake. Yes, there are a few exceptions (I’m looking at you avocados, potatoes, corn, etc.), but in general, that’s the rule..with one HUGE exception: when you blend produce to make smoothies. I see “How do you track Smart Points for smoothies?” asked all over the place, and since I just learned the easy answer myself, I figured I’d tell you. Read more
Okay friends, here’s the scoop. As I’m sure you know by now, Weight Watchers launched a new program that completely redefined the values of our Points system. This means that everything you knew about Points Plus is now irrelevant and Smart Points are the new Weight Watchers tracking system. With the introduction to Smart Points came the recalculating of everything we had the PP values memorized on. This, of course, includes our beloved Easter candy. While I had an entire Easter Candy Cheat Sheet made up with Points Plus values (and it’s still valid for those who chose to stay on that plan), I felt compelled to write up another cheat sheet for the majority of us who transitioned to the Beyond the Scale plan with Smart Points.
Due to the nature of Smart Points, which really cracks down on our sugar intake (and for a good reason), you will notice that the Smart Points values of your favorite Easter goodies have gone up drastically. While this is in fact a sad thing, don’t shoot the messenger. I’m just here to tell it like it is. I didn’t get a hold of every candy out there, but I did pick up some of my personal favorites and I wanted to share the calculations with you. Without further ado, here’s the Easter Candy Cheat Sheet with Smart Points.